Lok Sabha expulsion: Supreme Court to hear Mahua Moitra’s plea in week commencing March 11 | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHi: Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Secretary General of Lok Sabha to file a response within two weeks on a plea of Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) leader Mahua Moitra challenging her expulsion from Lok Sabha in a cash-for-query case. Supreme Court posted the matter for hearing in the week commencing from March 11.
Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, part of the bench, declined to issue any interim order on Moitra’s request to attend House proceedings, stating that such allowance would be akin to endorsing the primary petition. Justice Khanna informed Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing Moitra, that the plea for interim relief would be considered in March.
The court also rejected issuing notices to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and the Lok Sabha Committee on Ethics, both named parties in Moitra’s plea. Instead, the court decided to seek a reply solely from the Lok Sabha secretary general. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Lok Sabha secretary general, urged the court not to issue a formal notice, expressing intent to file a reply to Moitra’s petition.
Emphasising that the court should avoid intervening in the internal disciplinary matters of the sovereign organ of the state, the bench scheduled further hearings for the week starting March 11.
On December 8, following a contentious Lok Sabha debate and Moitra’s exclusion from speaking, Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi moved a motion for Moitra’s expulsion from the House due to ‘unethical conduct.’ The ethics committee had found Moitra guilty of sharing her Lok Sabha members’ portal credentials with unauthorised individuals, impacting national security. The motion, adopted by a voice vote, also recommended a thorough legal and institutional inquiry into Moitra’s conduct. Allegations of receiving gifts and illegal gratification further compounded the charges against Moitra.
Previously, ethics committee chairman Vinod Kumar Sonkar had presented the panel’s initial report based on a complaint filed by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey. Dubey’s complaint, stemming from accusations by Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai, alleged that Moitra had accepted cash and gifts to pose questions in the Lok Sabha targeting industrialist Gautam Adani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Central Bureau of Investigation had initiated a preliminary FIR in the case.

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